Tonight at 9:40 pm ET from Laval, Quebec, HBO’s final card of 2017 comes our way, headlined by a WBO middleweight title matchup between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux.
Saunders (25-0, 12 KO) is making the third defense of the belt he won from Andy Lee two years ago, and going on the road against one of the sport’s most dangerous punchers. Lemieux (38-3, 33 KO) has the home court and has probably faced the better competition, so this should be interesting.
The night’s co-feature is another middleweight matchup, with prospect Antoine Douglas (22-1-1, 16 KO) returning to face Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (26-2, 18 KO) in a 10-round bout. And the opening fight of the tripleheader will see junior welterweights Cletus Seldin (21-0, 17 KO) and Yves Ulysse Jr (14-1, 9 KO) square off in a big fight for both men.
Wil Esco will be on the live round-by-round call, so join us this evening!
- Billy Joe Saunders def. David Lemieux by UD (120-108, 117-111, 118-110)
- Gary O'Sullivan def. Antoine Douglas by TKO (1:03 of Round 7)
- Yves Ulysse Jr. def Celtus Seldin by UD (99-88, 99-88, 99-88)
ROUND BY ROUND
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS vs. DAVID LEMIEUX
Round 1: Lemieux comes out pressing early, as expected, and Saunders gets his measure from a distance. Saunders lands a jab and then a sloppy punch as he falls off balance. Lemieux hasn't thrown many punches yet, just looking to close the distance early. Saunders skips away from a right hand to the body and then throws three punches which are partially blocked. This is not the fight Lemieux wanted early on, he can't find the range on Saunders. Saunders 10-9.
Round 2: Lemieux comes out with a couple feints but he's not punching much because he can't get Saunders in a position he likes. Straight left to the body lands for Saunders. Saunders peppers Lemieux with some jabs, they don't have a lot of pop on them but they are scoring while Lemieux can't get off. This fight is looking just like the Ulysse-Seldin fight on the undercard. Saunders picking his spots to punch and them moving when he doesn't want to. Lemieux is struggling early. Hard left hand lands for Saunders which draws a smile from Lemieux. Saunders 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Lemieux is going to have to change the tenor of this fight quickly. Not only is he not landing much of anything, he's not even able to throw much of anything. Saunders comes out using a lot more lateral movement in this round which is bad news for Lemieux. He pops a few jabs and then slips the counters. Saunders showboating now, feeling quite comfortable with how things are going. I'm not sure Lemieux has even landed a single clean punch thus far in the fight. It looks like Saunders wants to burn off Lemieux's steam early, then possibly step it up after he's fatigued. Now Lemieux lands two grazing blows to the head which is more than he's done all fight. Saunders 10-9.
Round 4: Lemieux's corner sound very concerned with how things are playing out thus far, yelling at him in between rounds. Saunders is having an easier time in this fight than any other fight I've seen him in, at least recently. Lemieux lands a jab but he's hesitating quite a bit. Saunders tries a lead left hand which is partially blocked by Lemieux. Lemieux trying to pick up the pace now, but Saunders' awkward rhythm is throwing Lemieux off. No one doing any real damage in this fight, but Saunders is clearly winning. The crowd isn't liking the action (or lack thereof). Saunders 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Lemieux trying to do more of the same, but it's clearly not effective. Saunders is soundly outboxing Lemieux with his foot movement. Saunders peppers a few more jabs at Lemieux and then skates away from Lemieux's counter attack. If I sound repetitive, it's because this fight is. Saunders is having his way with Lemieux, even if he's not putting a hurting on him. Lemieux whiffs on a big punch and Saunders taunts him by peering into the stands to see where it landed. Saunders 10-9.
Round 6: Lemieux comes out this round with a quick pair of punches that can't quite find the target. Saunders doing an excellent job of not giving Lemieux the range he wants — he either smothers him, steps out of range, or beats him to the punch. Tremendously easy fight for Saunders through six. Saunders 10-9, 60-54.
Round 7: Saunders comes out quicker in this round, looking to pick up the pace on Lemieux, landing a few combination punches. Hard left hook lands flush on Lemieux's face! Lemieux is bleeding from his nose. Saunders is getting emboldened and is hitting Lemieux with more and more shots, shaking up Lemieux with a couple left hands. Lemieux's face is getting busted up now and showing the signs of damage. At this point I'd be surprised if this fight goes the distance. Saunders 10-9.
Round 8: Lemieux looked demoralized in between rounds in the corner. He face tells the story. Saunders playing target practice now, basically landing whatever he wants at will. Saunders having fun in there, winding up the bolo punch. Two hard shots shock Lemieux with their speed and accuracy! Saunders is cruising. Saunders 10-9, 80-72.
Round 9: Lemieux lands a right to the body but it's a little late to try to break Saunders' body down. A lot of posturing in this round as Lemieux is hesitant to throw now that he's been taking a lot of clean punches recently. Saunders jabs Lemieux again and gets right back out of range. Hard right hand finally lands for Lemieux, but Saunders takes it well. Another stiff jab lands for Saunders. Easy fight for Saunders. Saunders 10-9.
Round 10: Saunders stabs Lemieux with a straight left to the body, followed by a right upstairs. Lemieux lands a right hand and the crowd erupts! Saunders doesn't look like he has a mark on him, while Lemieux is looking a mess right now. Saunders lands a straight left and then counters Lemieux's forward momentum with a couple more punches. Hard uppercut lands for Saunders a mid-range. Saunders 10-9, 100-90.
Round 11: This round has been just like all the preceding rounds. Saunders has landed 100 more head shots than Lemieux to this point in the fight. Saunders 10-9.
Round 12: Lemieux needs a miracle knockout to win, but hasn't shown any real ability to put himself in position to land that punch — so don't hold your breath. Saunders looks like he's content to run out the clock on this fight. Saunders peppers Lemieux with some more jabs and backs him off. Now a counter jab lands for Saunders. Saunders circles the outside of the ring, jabs Lemieux, and the Montreal crowd hates it! Saunders dances out the clock but still landed the better shots of this round so I'll give it to him. BLH has this a shutout for Saunders, 120-108.
ANTOINE DOUGLAS vs. GARY O'SULLIVAN
Round 1: Douglas lands a left hook to the body right out the gate. O'Sullivan walks forward and tries to press Douglas to the ropes. Both fighters trade stiff jabs at center ring. O'Sullivan is already turning red in the face. Hard left hook to the body lands for O'Sullivan! Douglas tries to rip both sides of O'Sullivan's body. Two three-punch combinations come from Douglas followed by a left hook to the body. Close round but I slightly, slightly favor Douglas. Douglas 10-9.
Round 2: Douglas lands a good right hand at the end of a three-punch combination. O'Sullivan continues to march forward, trying to put a lot of pressure on Douglas. Douglas slips a jab and lands a left uppercut to the head. Another left hook to the body lands for Douglas, O'Sullivan responds with a short right hand. Douglas lands a couple of left hooks to the head and O'Sullivan tries to answer with some glancing blows. O'Sullivan now lands a clean uppercut to the body on the inside. I think Douglas edges this round too. Douglas 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: O'Sullivan comes out with an assertive jab. Now O'Sullivan lands a left hook to the body as Douglas tries to fight O'Sullivan off of him. Douglas times a nice counter hook which catches O'Sullivan clean. O'Sullivan lands another stiff jab, then the fighters trade a couple blows. Hard right to the body lands for O'Sullivan, followed by a couple shots to the head. O'Sullivan 10-9.
Round 4: O'Sullivan lands a stiff jab to being the round. Douglas throws a few left hooks which partially land. O'Sullivan catches Douglas with a hard left hook in the middle of an exchange. O'Sullivan continues to press forward but Douglas picks him off with another counter shot. The big question right now is whether Douglas will be able to keep fighting O'Sullivan off without gassing out in the later rounds. O'Sullivan looks a lot calmer than Douglas, even though Douglas is winning this round for me. Douglas 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: O'Sullivan gets Douglas into a corner right away but Douglas ties him up. Hard jabs land for Douglas, followed by a solid hook. Hard right hand for O'Sullivan, getting a big shot back! Now O'Sullivan lands another solid right on Douglas, who looks to be bleeding in his mouth. O'Sullivan is coming on more in this round, getting to Douglas more and more. O'Sullivan 10-9.
Round 6: O'Sullivan comes out landing another jab. More jabs land for O'Sullivan, as Douglas is having a hard time evading shots he probably shot at times. Two right hands, to the body and head, land for O'Sullivan. Now Douglas lands a counter left hook to the body. Chopping left hook lands for O'Sullivan. Clubbing right clips Douglas, as O'Sullivan tries to bury his head in Douglas' chest. O'Sullivan 10-9, 57-57.
Round 7: Douglas gets backed to the ropes straight away and O'Sullivan tries to take advantage. O'Sullivan lands a few hard shots that crushes Douglas to the canvas! He's badly hurt! Douglas makes his way back to his feet but he looks like he's in bad shape. Referee waves it off. It's over! O'Sullivan TKO-7.
CLETUS SELDIN vs. YVES ULYSSE JR.
Round 1: Seldin comes out pressing right away and momentarily gets Ulysse against the ropes. Ulysse is able to slip away and tries to counter Seldin with a couple shots at mid range. Now Ulysse mounts a short attack to the head and body. Ulysse continues to march forward, looking for his big right hand. Ulysse looks like he's ready for that and drops Seldin with a hard shot! Seldin gets up before the count and presses forward again, looking to do some damage. Hard right hand lands for Ulysse! It shakes up Seldin for a moment. Both fighters mock each other at center ring and Ulysse lands another solid right hand. Good round for Ulysse. Ulysse 10-8.
Round 2: Referee warns Seldin between rounds for his taunting antics in the ring. Seldin comes out for round two looking to walk straight in and land something hard, but Ulysse is using a lot of lateral movement to keep Seldin turning. Seldin whiffs on a big left hook, then Ulysse tries one of his own. Ulysse mesmerizes Seldin with his movement then shocks him with a one-two combination that drops Seldin again! Seldin gets up and Ulysse tries to pour it on, Seldin looks hurt. Seldin tries two big right hands but Ulysse is ready. Ulysse 10-8, 20-16.
Round 3: Seldin's aggression is being used against him as Ulysse times him to land his counter shots. Ulysse lines up another big right hand off lateral movement and Seldin is having a hard time coping with it — he can't cut off the ring. Hard left hook lands for Ulysse, then another one. Now Ulysse tries to pummel Seldin as he gets overwhelmed and Seldin goes down again! Seldin gets back up and the referee warns him that the next knockdown could be the last. Seldin loses his mouthpiece which gets a temporary time out. Back to the action and Seldin is down big on points. Ulysse bounces around from side to side looking for openings. Hard right hand lands for Ulysse at the bell. Ulysse 10-8.
Round 4: Seldin comes out even more aggressive in this round, knowing he probably needs a knockout to win since he's getting thoroughly outboxed. Ulysse comes out cruising a little bit knowing he doesn't have to take any chances at this point. Ulysse stops, pops, and catches Seldin with a quick combination. Ulysse has outlanded Seldin by nearly 50 total punches at this point in the fight. Easy fight for Ulysse. Ulysse 10-9, 40-33.
Round 5: Seldin is stalking again but he can't keep up with Ulysse's foot movement. Now Ulysse lands and uppercut and a few other follow up shots and Seldin can't get anything back. This whole fight is playing out on Ulysse's terms and Seldin looks to have been exposed as a one-dimensional puncher who will easily be troubled by boxers with movement. Hard right hands for Seldin, his best of the fight! Ulysse mugs at him over the shot and gets back to his tactical game plan. Right hand lands for Ulysse as his moves to his right. Ulysse 10-9.
Round 6: Ulysse lands a hard right uppercut to the body from a decent range, then clips Seldin with a check hook. Hard left hook lands for Ulysse! Seldin almost running after Ulysse but runs right into a counter shot by Ulysse. Ulysse tags Seldin, pivots, tags him again, and then moves away. More counter shots land for Ulysse and this is fight hasn't been competitive at all, not that Seldin isn't trying. Ulysse 10-9, 60-51.
Round 7: Seldin comes out this round with his hands down, trying to bait Ulysse into a brawl. Ulysse doesn't take the bait, though, and is keeping to his game plan to box on the outside, using lots of lateral movement. Slow round because Ulysse won't give Seldin what he wants, so Seldin just starts dancing in the ring. The referee calls a timeout to ask the fighters if they even want to fight. Hard right hand lands for Ulysse again. Ulysse 10-9.
Round 8: Seldin comes out throwing a lot of big shots, trying to make a fight out of it. Ulysse catches Seldin in between with a right uppercut which has been landing effectively throughout the fight. Seldin gets into Ulysse's chest and gets in some shots to the body. Seldin is making more contact in this round then he has in the entire fight. Now Ulysse turns the tables and lands several straight right hands on Seldin. Another chopping right hand lands for Ulysse. More right hands land for Ulysse, then a shot downstairs. Seldin is getting washed. Ulysse 10-9, 80-69.
Round 9: More of the same in this round as Ulysse gets in a right uppercut as Seldin crouches, looking for his big right hand. Ulysse tags Seldin, pivots, hits Seldin again, pivots, and Seldin just cannot keep up. Lead left hooks land for Ulysse as Seldin steps in. Ulysse 10-9.
Round 10: Last round. Seldin comes out hoping to land a hail mary punch. Ulysse is calm, still looking for spots to get in his counter shots. Nice counter right hand lands for Ulysse as Seldin tries to close the distance. Three left hooks come from Ulysse and he makes contact with all of them. Now Ulysse is walking forward in the first time of the fight and peppering Seldin with a lot of hard shots! Looks like Ulysse is looking to end this fight. Seldin loses his mouthpiece again so gets a quick timeout. Ulysse 10-9. BLH scores it a shutout for Ulysse, 100-87.